The Giants are defying the odds. They are in first place and nine games over .500 despite a barely-there offense.
They are essentially winning with singles and triples — and pitching. They have a NL-worst 139 doubles and 52 home runs. They have given up more runs (351) than they’ve scored (349).
Thankfully, the Giants management is well aware of their offensive shortcomings.
Manager Bruce Bochy spoke with ESPN’s Jim Bowden on SiriusXM’s Inside Pitch on Tuesday and told the former GM that they are looking for ways to upgrade the offense:
Bruce Bochy just told us that their priority at the trade deadline is to acquire a bat or maybe 2
— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) July 17, 2012
I think those bats will be for the bench. As I wrote a few weeks ago, I don’t see many starting positions where an upgrade is an option. Maybe shortstop.
FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal wrote on Monday that Toronto could trade shortstop Yunel Escobar. Rosenthal linked the A’s to Escobar, but he also could be an inexpensive option for the Giants. He’s signed through 2013 and will earn just $5 million next season.
Despite a hot May, Gregor Blanco is coming back down to earth. He has hit just .221 in June and July combined. The best upgrade would be San Diego’s Carlos Quentin, who has eight home runs in just 36 games.
But with so few power bats available on the trade market, it will cost the Giants a lot to get him. Plus, the Padres might be reluctant to trade within the division.
If the Giants are looking for a veteran bat that can come off the bench or play multiple outfield spots, one option is Juan Pierre. Yes, JP may be 34 years old, but he’s hitting .316 for the Phillies. And he’d be a solid veteran presence in the clubhouse.
ESPN’s Dan Szymborski thinks the Giants need to make a trade with Toronto, but not for Escobar. Instead, he thinks the Giants should cut the cord on former first-round pick Joe Panik and ship him north of the border for second baseman Kelly Johnson.
For those of you worried about trading Panik, Szymborski had this to say about him:
“Yes, Panik was last year’s first-round, but he was supposed to be a low-ceiling, high-floor guy, and hitting .258/.331/.368 isn’t all that exciting when you’re in the California League at age 21, and not 19.”
Another prospect that could be dangled is 20-year-old catching prospect Tommy Joseph. As you may have noticed, the Giants are set at starting and backup catcher. Buster Posey and Hector Sanchez aren’t going anywhere.
Bowden compiled a list of five prospects that participated in the Futures Game during All-Star weekend that could be traded and Joseph was No. 3 on the list:
“With an industry shortage at catcher, he could become strong trade bait for the Giants at this year’s deadline…Buster Posey is the Giants’ long-term solution at catcher, so it only makes sense for the Giants to listen to offers.”
Other players that could fit:
- B.J. Upton, Tampa Bay
- Marco Scutaro, Colorado
- Peter Bourjos, Los Angeles Angels
- Jeff Francouer, Kansas City
Hey, you never know, maybe a healthy Aubrey Huff will return, go on a hot streak and carry the Giants back to the World Series. Okay, maybe not.